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Mission 1 - From Mackenzie to Dragonfly

The crew of the Mackenzie is moved to the larger Obena Class Dragonfly and must grapple with a new ship and a continuing mission.

FMTD 001 – The New and The Old

USS Dragonfly
9.15.2401

“How many?” Captain Walton stood at the head of the briefing room table as her new command, Dragonfly, flew back to their original operating area at maximum warp.  The XO, Commander Park, sat working on an array of PADDs on the table.

“The Mack had 500 crew, the Fly has 820 to 850 depending on the day and the needs.  That’s approximately 320-350 additional officers, crewmen, and cadets.  I’ve got the department heads reworking shift schedules now,” she checked her watch, “and I should have a better idea of where we’re at in an hour.  We took on an additional 100 ensigns, 100 lieutenant junior grades, and another 50 lieutenants.  A small civilian science team was already assigned here, so they’re the other 50 or so.  Which leaves us with…,”

Wren had done the math in her head, “Twenty to fifty cadets – depending on the day and the needs.  We’re still an overall young crew, Park…this isn’t helping.”  She tied her hair back up, cinching it tightly in order to clear her head metaphorically and literally.  “We’re back in the thick of it in four hours.  You’re going to have to work it out so that our cadets get the experience and knowledge required for their learning…while keeping them safe in the middle of the zone.  We’ve got a lot of people out there who don’t trust us, and riding in on an Obena class isn’t going to bring them any more joy.”  She looked up as her Chief of Medical walked in, his face looking long.  “Doctor Longfellow – you look how I feel.”

He lamented, “It’s been a long afternoon, and it’s going to be an even longer night.  Chief Tir reports everyone has a bunk assigned after the initial confusion.  Sickbay is even more beautiful and bigger than it was on the Daedalus, so I’m thankful for a bigger workspace.”  He handed over a PADD, “We’ve been working on completing the medical exams for those who were overdue.  You should know T’saath failed her medical exam on Starbase 72 – she asked for it to be clear.  That’s part of why she’s not onboard.”

Walton turned on him, “You mean we left Starbase 72 without an Operations Chief?”  She took a deep breath, “You said that’s part of why she’s not onboard.  Clarify.”

“She’s been diagnosed with a neurological condition – she’s been hiding it for a month.  She confessed to the whole thing and immediately put in her resignation.  The docs on 72 were as upset at her as I was.  We did get lucky – you remember you had an application for the Deputy Chief position – a Calvert Rogers?”  She stared at him, and he quickly filled in the blanks.  “Rogers got caught up in the transfer confusion – they had him as a transfer officer to the Dragonfly, so he just came along for the ride.  He’s got the credentials to be Chief.”

Wren turned her attention to her XO, “How in the hell….,”

She put up her hands, “I would own this mess if I had made it – but this wasn’t me.  I looked over his dossier – he’s got talent and is a little rough around the edges.”  She felt the stare of her CO move from Longfellow to her, and she snorted, “Yeah, I know.  Replicator, Stove, Black.  You’re going to assign me to him as a mentor, aren’t you?”

Her CO smiled wide, “Guessed it in one.  Have him report to the outside of my ready room – I’ll take him under advisement.  Any other surprises, Doc?”

Longfellow sent his report to her on his PADD, “Aside from having a lot more bodies that I have to keep healthy and alive, no, sir.  As the XO has made clear, I’ve got new people I need to train and schedule.”  He stood at attention and then left on Wren’s dismissal.

Park worked on her PADD, “Chief Miados wanted to see you.”  She didn’t glance at her friend and CO.  They both knew Miados had been emotionally connected to Mackenzie, given her previous time spent onboard.  Being ripped from that was going to leave a mark or two.

“Send her in.”  She looked up from the table as the Trill Chief Engineer stepped in and stood at attention.

“Captain Walton.”

“Lieutenant Commander Miados.”

“You should know I’m considering asking for a transfer back to Mackenzie.”  Her eyes remained impassive and staring at the wall ahead of her.

Wren gave the statement some time to sink into the air of the room.  “That would largely depend on whoever becomes her CO.  I’m not one to stand in the way of someone who wants to leave.”  Her tone hadn’t drifted into hardness yet.  She was starting soft.

Shealynn fought her emotions – both from within herself and from Miados.  It was impossible to separate the feelings, and both of them were incredibly furious.  “I….returning to the Mackenzie was what I thought I was meant to do, Captain.  I was back home, sir.”  She shifted her eyes to meet her captain’s gaze, “It felt good to be back home.  And now…I’m a ship I’ve never worked, a design I’ve never liked, and more crew that I don’t know.”

Walton let her vent and gave Miados time to let her feelings flow. After she’d waited a few minutes, she said, “You spent almost eleven years on the Mackenzie. It can be hard to let something like that go.  I don’t want to lose you, Miados.  I need a good head in engineering, and you fit that need perfectly.  The Dragonfly is complex, and she’s new…but I know what beats inside that engineer’s heart…and inside Miados.  As much as you say you don’t like the design, the ship, or the load of more crew…I don’t believe that’s the complete truth.”

Park watched the Trill’s eyes go wide in reaction but said nothing. This was Wren’s fight; she needed to let these two have it out.

Miados sputtered, “You think you know me?  Or either of us?”

Wren leaned on the table, “I’ve had this conversation with officers from Deputy Chief to Chief to XO to Captain and back again.  You’re right – I don’t truly know you or Miados in the way that you do.  But I know what I’ve seen you do.  I’ve talked to your people.  You were the right person to step into Okada’s space, Commander.  The reports from Commander Park have been nothing short of appreciative of your efforts to rebuild a team that couldn’t get itself out of bed most mornings.  Sometimes, the job is the ship.  Plenty of stories of engineers who stayed with their first loves and never looked back.”  She pushed off the desk, “But what if you were meant for something different…something better?  What if choosing to accept the challenge and push into the unknown…what if that takes you places you never thought possible?”

The engineering chief remained silent, her eyes fixed on her CO.  She chewed on her bottom lip before turning to Park. “Has she done this to you before?”

Park answered honestly, “And every day since.  She pushed me to wake up and put my eyes on what I needed, not what I wanted.  I’m still learning.” At that statement, Wren smiled, and the XO continued, “But that’s the point. Learning is life, to borrow the Jem’Hadar saying.  Besides, I like you, and I don’t like everyone.”

Miados let out a long breath she’d been holding, “Can I have a day to think about it?”

Walton shook her head, “You have the time it takes us to get back onside in the zone – which is just about four hours from now.  If you were ready to leave, Commander, you would have handed me a resignation on the station and walked off.  My expertise is in people who want to stay or want to go.  And you want to stay.”

Miados stared at her in shock but also in mild appreciation.  “You’ll have your answer in four hours, Captain.”  She stood at attention and left the ready room.

Park waited until the door closed. “Have you been reading over your old notes?”  She smiled as her CO stuck her tongue out at her. ”I think you’re right; she’ll stay.”  She sat up in her chair, putting her back straight again. “Now, let’s see what we can do about the rest of this mess.”  The XO handed a PADD to Wren. And yes, I’m going to need your help.  Calvert should be here in fifteen.”

FMTD 002 – Jumbled and Trouble

USS Dragonfly / Briefing Room
9.15.2401

“This all seems to be moving fast, Captain.”  All of a lieutenant junior grade, Calvert Rogers sat across the table from Wren Walton.  “I’ve been in Starfleet for just over a year…being interviewed for a department head position feels accelerated.”

She readily agreed, “It’s not that I don’t want you, Mr. Rogers.  It’s that we don’t have much of a choice.  Commander T’saath didn’t have a deputy chief in training, and the others in the department were not interested in stepping up.  You have the skill set needed, and you’ve had an experience where it counts.”  She scrolled through the dossier file, “You’ve had your share of conflicts in the past.  I’m assigning you to Commander Park – she will be your mentor through the process.  You’ll meet with her a few times a week to start out.”

He replied, “I’m aware of her track record.”

Wren raised her eyebrows, “Aware in what way, Mr. Rogers?”

Calvert felt his blood pressure increase.  What he had said and what he had meant had been two different things.  “I read up on the senior staff and ship history – I wanted to be thorough in my research for the position and the crew, sir.”  He felt his face tinged with embarrassment.

Wren tried a different approach, “Is it going to be a problem working with Commander Park?”

He frowned, “Why would it be, sir?”

“You said you were aware of her history.”

He lamented how he’d said it, but there wasn’t much to be said to repair the moment aside from, “My apologies, captain.  I just meant I’m aware of her background and knowledge as it will be helpful to mentor me.”

Wren studied him, wondering if that was the truth or the line he was desperate to sell her to get out from the hole he’d stumbled into digging.  “Very well.  Your quarters are assigned, and your duty station will start within the….”

The voice of her communications chief interrupted her, “Captain to the bridge – emergency distress call!”

She stood, “Well, welcome to the Dragonfly.  Come with me, and let’s introduce you to the way things seem to happen to this crew – no matter the ship we’re on.”  They walked the distance down the hall and into the new bridge, where she called out, “Report.”

Oscar Reede had found his new station a level up from Mackenzie.  The bridge itself was more expansive, with plenty more stations to make up for the additional crew they’d added.  “We’ve got a trade fleet under siege by Syndicate Pirates  – they were supposed to meet us at the colony as a part of our goodwill tour.”

Wren pointed Rogers to the console behind the XO chair as she slid into the center command chair. “Helm, adjust our course.”  She tapped the console on the arms of her chair as the Dragonfly shifted course. “They haven’t had any issues—why now?” she asked her senior staff as she looked around at them at their various consoles.

At the diplomatic station next to Reede, Charlie Hargraves offered, “Our new orders came through – change in command was sent to the various colonies on a pretty broad spectrum channel.  Some of our old friends could be thinking they have a chance to test our resolve or even just us.”

At the helm, Castillo announced, “Ten minutes to intercept.”  The transition to the Dragonfly had been sudden for all of them, and it was taking her time to get used to the larger Obena class.  She’d been reading up on the impulse engines with heightened interest – this ship could move like nothing she’d ever piloted.  It was helping her calm her rankled nerves as the clock on her console raced to zero.

Kondo was working on extensive long-range and short-range sensor systems from tactical at the front of the bridge, next to Castillo, “This doesn’t feel like a trap – at least from the trader’s side of things.  The colony we’re supposed to be working on is on edge as it is.  This could be a way for those that want her to swing away from us to make that happen.”  He shrugged, “What they don’t realize is that if they chose Syndicate, or True Way, or even New Maquis – none of those variables are stable or safe in the long term.”

Wren listened and pondered on her own.  The continued fluctuation in the Former Demilitarized Zone of the varying actors had long passed being annoying.  It was now making their work far more complicated.  “Send a coded message to the colony updating them on the situation.  Red alert.”

 

You have no authority here.”   The Romulan captain of the Syndicate vessel was irritated at being ordered to stop attempting to steal the content of the trade fleet.  “I don’t recognize Starfleet, and you don’t want to mix it up with our ship.  Be on your way, Captain Walton.”   

The red light banks around the bridge continued to blink as the soft klaxon rang in the background.  Walton felt her lips twitch.  She wasn’t sure if he was a fool or if he had someone else waiting to slip out from behind a moon, but he was confident.  She sat in her command chair and leaned forward, “I didn’t stutter if that’s what you were asking, captain.  One last time – immediately cease your attack and return all materials to the trade fleet.”  The channel closed, and the attack resumed.  Wren was amazed at the hubris of the man but not long enough to give him any more chances.  “Looks like we’re going to be teaching some lessons today. Mr. De La Fontaine – lock phasers and fire.  Helm – tactical maneuvers.”

Gabrielle Castillo tapped the Dragonfly into action, her heart racing at the reality of how quickly she was going to have to figure out how this ship worked.  She had worked with Kondo on the Mack in a similar seating arrangement, so that wasn’t the issue.  The issue was the incredibly complex impulse engines at her command – arguably the most unique feature on the Obena class ship.  Kondo started asking for firing positions, and Castillo went to work as the ship’s inertial dampeners went to work.  She felt a small smile cross her lips as the large ship was able to shift, dodge, weave, and slip in behind the Syndicate ship with little effort, and she watched with suppressed pride as her colleague went to work with his phasers, rocking them.  He reported, “Impact on their shields, 75%.  They are returning fire.”  The ship didn’t shake, the lights didn’t blink, but there was the sound of weapons fire on the regenerative shields.  “Minimal impact.  No damage reported.  They’re swinging around for a torpedo run.” Walton watched as the helm and tactical team danced the Dragonfly through the battle.  The torpedoes did little damage.  Kondo led another assault of phasers, “Their shields are at 50%.” 

Wren asked, “Does he want us to kill him?  He can’t think he’s going to win this.”

Her question was answered a moment later: “Incoming ship signals – two more Syndicate cruisers – thirty seconds.”

She grumbled, “Signal Douglas – we’re going to need some backup.”

FMTD 003 – The Why and the What

USS Dragonfly
9.15.2401

“I’m going to miss that Latinum.”  The Romulan Syndicate captain lay on the ground of transporter room one, being tended to by Doctor Longfellow.  Captain Walton stood, arm crossed.  They’d managed almost to disable the lead ship before most of the crew had transported off to the remaining three, who had then fled.  They had gotten lucky as they’d locked onto the captain in the moments before the ship had exploded.  Two security officers stood at the doors, watching.

Wren asked, “What were you thinking?”  She was in disbelief. She knew the Syndicate was crazy at the best of times, but this move had mystified her.

“Captain Rusa Helos.  And we got paid a lot of money to test your defenses, see what you could do.”  He winced at the work being done on him.  He’d stayed behind on the bridge to grab his share of the Latinum, only to find his share missing.  The fires and the resulting explosions had left their mark.  “No honor among thieves, I think you humans say.”

Walton remained impassive.  “We say a lot of things.  ‘What can you do for us?’ is something else we humans say.  So,” she knelt down, “What can you do for us?”

Helos chuckled and cringed at the resulting pain, “Pandora – she wanted you to know it was her.  I don’t know where she is, so don’t bother asking.  She is coming for you.  She said she was done hiding.  And no, I don’t know when or how because she shot my second lieutenant when I asked.”  He laid back down, “It’s going to sound…you humans say ‘corny,’ but this was going to be my last score.  Had little place picked out to settle and live the rest of my life.” He closed his eyes, regret filling his words, “I would have liked to have seen MK23.  Nice place.  Mostly good people.”

She stood, “Get him to sickbay and stabilize him.  Keep him under guard.”  She turned on her heels and stalked out of the room.

Helos looked up at Longfellow, “She seems nice.”

Henry motioned the orderlies to bring the gravity bed over, “Your former employer wants to kill her deputy chief engineer and anybody else she can get her hands on.  Nice drops out of the picture when it comes to murder.”

 

“The damage report.”  Commander Park stood from the command chair as Walton stepped back onto the bridge, “Shields are back to full levels.  Power systems performed exceptionally well, and weapons targeting time was beyond expectations.”  She handed over a PADD, ‘Chief Miados is coming around to the idea.”

Wren was nonplussed, “The four-hour clock ran out fifteen minutes ago, so she’s stuck no matter what now.  You’ve got a note here about how they targeted us?”  She sat down in the command chair as she read the details.

Park explained, “It’s a theory – both Miados and Kondo did some work on their targeting, firing, and the patterns within all that.  Normally, they’d just file the battle report, but given who was behind it – there’s always something to Pandora’s motivations.”  It unsettled her.  She was frustrated with the Pandora situation because it wasn’t resolved or close to resolution.  She was a vindicative character, and the threat she posed to the division was significant.

“Well, she doesn’t have the designs for our ship anymore, which helps…but also means she’s going to try and find someone or a way to do the same thing with the Dragonfly.”  She groaned, “And we’ve recently had a growth spurt in crew.”

Park was on it, “We’ve started a security review of all crew. Lieutenant Pearce is taking point.  She’s not someone to be trifled with.”  She didn’t add that Pearce was more than a bit prickly.  Security postings had a habit of making people less friendly and more focused on the various moving targets and variables around them.

Walton chuckled, “Her first interview with me was certainly….memorable.  She’s proven herself.  How’s the transport fleet?”

“Furious is one way to describe the fleet captain and the various crews.  They’ve endured a lot in the last year – a mix of Syndicate attacks and the True Way aggressively trying to take them over.  We may have to do some escort work to keep these groups doing the heavy lifting of transporting goods.”

Wren wistfully replied, “I wouldn’t mind a few milk runs.  We could use the simple life every so often.”  She handed back the PADD.  “Signal the transports – we’re on our way within the hour.”  She stood, “You have the CONN, Commander Park.”

As Walton reached the door to her ready room, Park asked, “What should we do about the report from Kondo and Miados?”

The CO considered for a moment, “Have them go deeper.  Whatever Pandora’s up to, we’ll need to be prepared.”

FMTD 004– Vanishing Act

USS Dragonfly
9.16.2401

“That’s impossible.”  Commander Park turned in the command chair to face the Science Chief, Commander Thasaz.  “We had multiple eyes on her and her fleet.”  She stood and walked to the science station, “I know I sound a little upset, but…well, we had her.”

Thasaz gestured to the screen, “You’re not the only one, Commander. We said she would be there…but she isn’t anymore.  We’ll have to get to that sector specifically to take advantage of the short and medium-range sensors to see what the truth is…but at the moment, Pandora Crawford is in the wind.”

Park tapped her badge, “Captain to the bridge.”  She muttered, “This isn’t going to be fun.”  Three heartbeats later, Walton walked in, and her XO gave the distressing report.

“We lost her?”  Wren turned to Thasaz who gave her the same look she had given Park.  “Damn it.  Set a course.”

 

The warp trails weaved a trail of confusion before they vanished off her screens. Thasaz muttered Romulan curses as she tasked the sensors with rechecking what she feared. Pandora Crawford’s operation had once again scattered into the darkness of the space beyond.  The second sensor scan run yielded some additional details and yet the same conclusion.  She turned to face Walton, “She was here with four or five other ships.  They scattered about an hour ago – mostly in the same direction, but they did a lot of twists and turns – I can’t get a good extrapolation on their intended course without a wildly wide prediction ratio.”

Walton rubbed her temples, “All this work…and for nothing.”  The rest of the command crew felt the same – they’d spent twenty-four hours putting together a plan they thought would get them to a place where they could finally resolve the Pandora Crawford trouble.  And now, nothing.  She pulled herself back up, “Well, let’s not waste the time we have. Helm, get us back to what we were working on.  I’m sure the folks we left on the colony could do with a check-in or two.”  She stood, “Tir, you have the CONN.”

She walked through the doors to her ready room and paced the room until her second in command walked in, waiting until the doors closed to say, “You’re unhappy.”

Wren spun on the commander, “Unhappy is such a nice word, Park.  Pissed beyond measure.  We had her.  We were just…so goddamned close to closing this stupid shitty chapter…and never having to worry about that evil woman anymore.”  She felt her internal temperature drop a few degrees as she ranted out her emotions with her friend.  “We’re going to have to keep looking over our shoulders, worrying about what plots she’s concocting to have her misguided and maniacal revenge. Goddamn Pandora Crawford.  At least her father’s dead – we only have to worry about one of them.”

Park arched an eyebrow, “He was that bad?”  She watched, amused, as Walton snagged a PADD, tapped in a search string, and tossed it to her. She skimmed the reports, her eyes widening, “Bad seems like such a nice work when you read this. Damn.”

Wren shifted to the couch and sat down with a long sigh, “He was orders of magnitude worse than her.  The murders, crimes, and attacks he was suspected of committing before he finally ran out of space and found out what happens when you piss just about everyone off – that’s just the first-hand confirmed list.  I did a little digging because I hate myself and the secondary list…I’ve seen and heard a lot in my career…but that man was whatever beyond a sociopath is – he might have just broken the damn meter.”

“Somehow, we ended with the normal Peter Crawford.”  Park handed the PADD back with a shudder, “You think she got spooked?

Wren stared out the wide windows, wondering what had sent Pandora Crawford running.  “She might have heard we’re a little taller and a little tougher than we were before…and those schematics are pretty useless now.”  Walton snapped a finger, “Maybe someone read that report and decided there was only one way to keep us safe.”

Park chuckled but then stopped as her captain stared at her, impassive. “You’re serious?”  Walton shrugged.  “You think they’d do that much work, that much movement – throw an entire division in chaos – just to keep us from suffering from something we forgot to check in the schematics?”

Walton retrieved a hot Earl Grey from the replicator, “All I know is they pulled the Mackenzie into Starbase 72 for a full workup before she goes out again.  I don’t think they’re taking chances.”  She was silently relieved – putting Mackenzie back out in the open had made her nervous.

Park had one last question, “What do we do with our two prisoners?”  Both had a list of charges, which would likely result in prison time for both.

Wren considered the question.  She’d hoped to use both of them to get to Pandora.  Now, she was beyond their reach, and the leverage they had was meaningless.  “Signal Starfleet Security to pick them both up.  This sucks no matter what, and I’d rather have them both off my ship as soon as possible.”

“Are you going to be okay?” Walton remained quiet and brooded as she sipped her tea. Park tried again, “Wren?” The ragged eyes of her captain finally met hers.  The XO sat down beside her CO.  “I’m sorry we couldn’t get this done.”

Walton sniffled, her eyes sparkling in a rare display of emotion, “I’m sorry too, Seoyeon.”  Leaning her head into a comforting shoulder helped soothe her heavy heart.  “We’re going to get her eventually.  It’s just going to take time.”

They remained embraced as the Dragonfly rushed through space, returning back to their sacred duty.  The stars blinked on, and the orbits swung on.  

Still farther out, a blazing fury watched…and waited.